Home Visual Arts Collective Hardware is soon to be Collective Failure.

Collective Hardware is soon to be Collective Failure.

Ronnie Rivellini and Stuart Braunstein.

The end of a dream?

So we hear hear through the grapevine that Stuart Braunstein‘s and Ronnie Rivellini‘s Collective Hardware is about to go down the chute. How you wonder did this happen? Well, on the surface the outfit is a steep $1million behind rent and even until now downtown insiders had been wondering how they could keep side stepping a landlord who by now must have been losing all his wits trying to get the group to come clean. No more astounded were Braunstein and Rivellini who had at this juncture built themselves homely abodes were they would live and ‘hang’ with the motley crew called the downtown scene. Something we would remind Mr Braunstein is illegal in a commercial dwelling but who cares about legality when you have an ego and a complex to feed. But then again – when you’re wild at heart, sometimes your wild in action too…

On one occasion this author was astounded when he arrived at the premises to find the council’s resident coke head, a poor washed up photographer (very well known in the downtown nightclub scene) who for the love of decorum and self restraint couldn’t contain herself having all her possessions which she had by now (to Mr Braunstein’s chagrin) stored at Collective physically strewn all over the footpath. One could easily see her on most evenings chopping up what in this author’s opinion appeared to be long lines of cocaine and offering them to the denizens who would pile in at all hours of the night and of course eventual daylight. And here she was now late November 2009 having the same people she treated tossing her life possessions out on the street. What a sorry sight. A cursory appeal to Mr Braunstein for some human regard for this misguided individual only elicited a wild stare and a heavy disregard. How strange that now he too finds himself in the same position.

When we initially sent one of our writers back of April 2008 he was appalled by the depth of machismo attitude and surly overtones of ‘glam thou is better than you.’ With princess model types prancing and Mr Braunstein dj-ing the world was about to become a part 2 Factory or so they thought. Curious we came back in September and sat down with the Mr Braunstein and Mr Rivellini and decided to give them the time of day. In return for our uplifting article I was asked by Mr Braunstein to become the unofficial documenter of Collective Hardware’s destiny. A thrill that I momentarily relished in.

One day late October the building caught on electrical fire. How it didn’t go completely down in flames is still a mystery to those who saw the after effects. What wasn’t publicly disclosed at the time were the efforts of a painter- EricĀ  and coincidentally myself who were at the time (2.45am) the only ones in the building working on two separate floors-as by now Stuart Braunstein and his crew had all gone to party at co-Facebook founder (and apparently part investor of Collective Hardware) Sean Parker‘s house .

Fortunately we were able between the two of us to control the fire (Eric had more bravado than me and went in upstairs with a fire extinguisher we were able to locate) and call the fire brigade in a timely manner.

To say we were heroes is a ludicrous thing, we were only doing what came natural- and although Eric the painter in question would later cry up and down the street and into the earlobes of downtown hipster hero Paul Sevigny that this I had nothing to do with getting the building out of harm’s way is a mad trip to the ego house. Does anyone notice a pattern here? Perhaps next time I’ll turn my phone off and just walk away. But that’s something you never do when you want to see a collective vision come to fruition.



  1. So how does everyone remove themselves from your weekly high school newsletter? There should be a ‘remove’ button no?

  2. “This author?!” On the premises at that hour with the resident coke head watching people snorting what he believed may have been cocaine?! If he was there at this hour, in actual fact he was just as guilty as the rest. He couldn’t make it more obvious who he’s referring to and probably in the process outed himself also.. So PATHETIC!! Joke on the “author”!.. Great story guys! You should email Page Six next time and see if they have the time of day! Woah!

  3. Thank you for telling the truth about Stew ,he is a loser and a coke pill taking shit head that thinks he knows art and for lack of words he needs to be in jail for what he did hopefully his dad house in N Jersey will do and thank you for telling the truth about CH they never tried to do anything but be a house of drugs and bullshit people.

  4. Dear Urbno- brain, that was the draw of the Collective- that everyone could come together and be productive. Whether I paid rent or not is irrelevant, i chose to get to know these people, I chose to champion a variety of thinkers and artists that I met at the collective, it’s just in the end management really messed up and as much as some of us wanted to see the bird fly high, the bird refused for a variety of reasons to let itself fly. For a lack of a better metaphor. And even if I and a lot of other people had faith in the flock the ring masters were ostensibly (hopefully this is not too big of a word for you Urbno- brain) not in the end going to honor their pledge. So eventually, many of us walked away, including the investors.

    Just because you have a venue and a party good feel vibe about you doesn’t mean you know how to create or leave a productive legacy behind. Life is serious, if you want to fuck with it and other people, eventually you alienate the people who came to stand behind you.

    Hopefully Mr Braunstein can get all the sleep he needs now…

    p.s- As long as you keep coming back to read Urbno- brain, I wont be needing a new career.

  5. pretty funny. i am pretty sure mr scallyhag was one of the same group of people that worked (is that what you call it?) rent free at the same collective space with the same folks he is now so against. check out some of your own earlier post when you proclaimed them to be the best thing since sliced bread. and yeah….your writing sucks. not as bad as your grammar, but all the same….it sucks. find a new career

  6. How trivial to have the peons at CH respond that the writing sucks. If only Mr Braunstein or Rivellini could find the courage to respond to the concerns and behavior raised in this article. That is what is truly terrible…

  7. The only reason why I have not deleted you from my unwanted stream is that I feel a tiny bit of authenticity in your words, but I must say you are over protecting yourself to the point that I am no more interested! Please keep it more name related…otherwise it is soooooo boring!

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